Business-wide contract automation
RVU is the company behind a series of comparison businesses, including Uswitch, Money.co.uk and Bankrate. RVU aims to reach consumers across the UK, providing them with technology that can offer a unique, dynamic online experience.
Created in 2018, RVU combines the fast-paced nature of a scaleup with the strength of well-established, trusted, household names in home services and financial services.
The challenge: scaling legal process
As a company, RVU grew from several acquisitions, meaning its teams had adopted a wide range of practises from different businesses. This presented various challenges, particularly around the legal process.
RVU relied on Word templates and manual processes for its low-value, high-volume contracts. This often delayed time-to-sign, and lengthy negotiations resulted in email chains, adding friction to an already painful workflow. The process usually went as follows:
- A business user downloaded the template and manually replaced the highlighted text in Word with the relevant terms
- Legal would then make amendments
- Parties involved would send the document back and forth in time-consuming negotiations
- When it came to signing, the party would print, sign in pen, scan and email the contract to the counterparty - who would do the same
It fell to Michael Haynes, senior legal counsel at RVU, to try and solve this as a lean legal function serving several businesses, but he found that team members interacting with energy suppliers, financial institutions, and telecoms providers all had different processes in place for their contracts.
“For example, software engineers purchasing a new tool might need an NDA to discuss the tool externally. The diversity of people leads to a diversity of approaches which can be difficult to manage,” Michael says. Settling on a consistent, unified contract workflow was challenging.
“Up to 30 per cent of legal's time is won back through not having to do low-value tasks. We’re doing work we were trained to do, as opposed to admin work anyone can do”
The requirements: what did RVU need?
Michael wanted to implement a contract automation platform to address three problems:
1. Who is responsible for contracts? Businesses often default to running contracts through Word, but routing all those low-value contracts through one lawyer wouldn’t scale. Michael wanted to enable the team to self-serve so legal could reduce its involvement.
2. What is in the contracts? Version control was almost impossible with the diversity of approaches being taken - Michael needed assurance from a risk perspective that everyone was dealing with the most current, relevant and accurate terms in their contracts. Colleagues freelancing in Word had to stop.
3. Where are the contracts? With different processes inherited from different businesses, establishing a universal source of truth where all contracts were stored and managed post-signature was imperative.
Alongside all of this, Michael needed a solution with an intuitive user experience that would ensure any solution was actually adopted by non-lawyer users across multiple teams.
The solution: minimum time investment, maximum efficiency gain
In 2019, RVU’s legal team implemented Juro to streamline the contract process. Michael started with a pilot project to solve one problem - NDAs - but self-serve adoption was so successful that several other functions in the company implemented Juro for new use cases and workflows.
Juro’s implementation expanded to include order forms for the commercial team; agreements with recruitment agencies for the HR team; freelance agreements for the content team; and NDAs across the business, amongst others. The benefits for the business included:
- Frictionless self-serve: “we empowered the commercial team to self-serve NDAs through Juro. Templating an NDA is so quick and easy now - we’ve removed that task from legal’s plate entirely.”
- Faster time-to-sign: “teams can send out clear, well-drafted, beautifully designed contracts that engage the counterparty and can be signed quickly, with minimal input from legal. This is the perfect scenario for us.”
- Reduced risk: “I know that a portion of the business is contracting on standard terms and getting the right signatories involved, and this is immensely reassuring. It’s a big deal for a business that is scaling like we are.”
- High-value legal work: “up to 30 per cent of the legal function’s time is won back through not having to do low-value tasks. We’re doing the work we were trained to do, as opposed to admin work that anyone can do - and this makes the job more enjoyable.”
- Wider adoption: “when we rolled out, we certainly dealt with some product envy across the business! The teams at money.co.uk had a high churn of commercial contracts, so we extended our licence to help them automate their sales contracts. We also integrated their insertion orders in Juro, replacing their previous CRM system. Now the vast majority of the team can replicate standard terms on a regular basis.”
“Teams can send out clear, well-drafted, beautifully-designed contracts that engage the counterparty and can be signed quickly, with minimal input from legal”
The results: scalable contract automation
Before Juro, RVU’s contract process was manual, spread across multiple tools, and it impacted several teams in the business. Through Juro, Michael was able to create a system of record for contracts, with expanding usage across multiple teams.
“The energy team involved with the Uswitch Energy Awards have had years of time-consuming procurement processes with large utility providers,” Michael explains. “They asked if they could manage the process through Juro, and suddenly the contract process is excellent - there’s minimal negotiation involved, and they don’t spend hours updating terms. The telecoms and financial services teams saw the energy team use Juro, and decided to implement it themselves.”
“Across our team of two, we’ve now saved up to three working days each week by using Juro. We would not have been able to achieve the end-to-end contract process in less than a day if we continued to use Word. Now we find ourselves in a situation where we can send over a contract in Juro while having the discussion about it on the phone.”
Through Juro, Michael was able to serve a complex, high-growth business with a lean legal team, while freeing his time for high-value work:
“With Juro doing the heavy lifting on low-negotiation contracts, I had the breathing space to be more strategic, which included securing an excellent first hire into my team. I would recommend Juro to anyone looking to save time on their contract workflow.”